Two big updates are coming to the Google Play Store at the end of September, ones that could make a major difference in the relationship between devs and users.
1. Devs are now required to list a public address. STATUS: CONFIRMED.
Looks like communication between users and devs is about to get a whole lot more personal. The comment section in the Play Store can frequently be a one-sided conversation, as many devs choose not to engage with their audience here.
The Google Play Developer Console is alerting devs that, beginning September 30th, they’ll need to “Add a physical contact address.” If a dev’s apps are paid or include in-app purchases, listing an address will be mandatory to continue being listed in the Play Store.
For big name devs with a registered place of business, this makes plenty of sense. For indie devs, it could be a step in a scary direction. Hackles are already being raised regarding privacy concerns; what could happen if obsessed users track devs down to yell at them where they live – or worse?
Time will tell if this is a step enabling communication or stalking.
2. In-app purchase price ranges will be explicitly listed in the Play Store. STATUS: RUMOR, BUT LIKELY TRUE.
The dev of the GoneMAD Music Player contacted Google to ask about the new address policy. Google’s reply not only confirmed the change, but also revealed that the Play Store has imminent plans to start prominently listing in-app purchase price ranges.
Here’s the full text of what the dev posted on Reddit (with the important bit in bold):
Thanks for contacting Google Play Developer Support.
As of September 30, 2014, we are implementing a number of new changes to how apps are listed and displayed on Google Play, in accordance with consumer protection laws and current best-practices, ensuring a more transparent and positive experience for users. They include:
Please let me know if you have any additional questions and I’ll be happy to help.
Apple’s been doing this for some time with the most popular IAPs for any app including them in iTunes, and it’s a really useful feature for users wanting to know what to expect when downloading an app. It looks like this:
Right now, the Play Store only displays whether or not an app includes IAPs, not how much they cost nor what they are. It’s unclear right now if the new listing will follow the same setup as Apple’s.
Do note that this is a rumor based on a post from a respected developer rather than from Google itself – but it seems like a positive and highly likely step. Transparency when it comes to IAPs is good for everyone. Openly displaying devs’ home addresses, that’s more up for debate.
Read From Source: Google Play Store Updates: Devs Must Make Their Home Addresses Public, Display In-App Purchase Price Ranges